Dr. Dog to Shake Up the Fayetteville Indie Music Scene
Tonight, the main stage of George’s Majestic Lounge will be lit by the sights and sounds of the indie-rock outfit Dr. Dog. While most of the band’s career has been on the college underground scene, its three-part harmonies and peppy, eclectic music will surely bring about a great night.
Originally formed in 2001 in West Grove, Penn., Dr. Dog consists of Toby Leaman (bass, vocals), Scott McMicken (lead guitar, vocals), Zach Miller (keyboard), Frank McElroy (rhythm guitar), and Eric Slick (drums). The band’s songs alternate the lead singing between the two vocalists Toby Leaman – whose voice is deeper, soulful and warm – and Scott McMicken, who has a higher, tender tenor-pitch voice. What’s unique about these guys is that the whole band chips in harmonies to back up the two lead singers in the songs, and the collaboration gives a pleasant result. Their music is melodically fun and easy to get into, and their sound is best described as retro-rock.
The majority of the songs the band will play tonight will come from its two latest and most successful albums, Fate and Shame Shame. The top three songs the band is most likely to play throughout the night will be “Hang On,” the happy and invigorating “The Rabbit The Bat and The Reindeer” and folksy mellow-hit “The Breeze”, all from the album Fate, according to setlist.fm, and which are arguably the best tracks from that album. The last-call anthem “Shadow People,” the pure nostalgic sounding “Stranger,” the harmony-ridden clap-along “Jackie Wants a Black Eye” and the relaxed “I Only Wear Blue” all have good chances of being played from the newer album Shame Shame, according to setlist.fm.
Fate and Shame Shame aren’t vastly different albums, but there is definitely an evolution of sound between the two for Dr. Dog. Fate has an awesome variety of sounds that tend to sound more raw and fit more into the genre of 60’s psychedelic rock. Shame Shame also fits the genre of retro-rock, but it’s much more polished and better produced than the previous album. The music is more streamlined, but generally the album has more of a softer tone than Fate has. They’re both solid efforts from the band.
Dr. Dog has a great collegiate following across the nation, and many students from the UA are going to be at the show. Tracer Moore, a sophomore biology major, said he’s excited about the show and he’s looking forward to having an indie band play a show in Fayetteville.
“It’s nice to have a band like this. Most George’s shows cater towards the 40 year-old average scene. Fayetteville and the AMP get a lot of leftover big bands that are past their prime and their fans are older it seems,” Moore said. “Dr. Dog has a really good folky, rocky sound. The lyrics are emotional and I like the vocalists. They’re warm, emotional and genuine. They don’t sound like the most professionally trained singers but they sound like they mean what they’re singing. I like their song ‘The Ark’ a lot. It jumps out at me a lot and it has a good wow factor to it.”
Julia Allen, a sophomore interior design major, is also looking forward to the show.
“I’m so excited. I love seeing them play. I’m looking forward to seeing them play again, last time I saw them they were really great. They were a lot better live, they were really lively and it wasn’t boring at all,” Allen said. “I love Toby’s voice; it’s so amazing. He’s my favorite. Dr. Dog is just fun to listen to; they’re definitely one of my favorite bands.”
Toby Leaman’s vocals should bring the thunder — they are straight-up soulful and hit you like a punch to the stomach, like the best punch to your stomach you’ve ever had. Along with his earthy vocals, he definitely makes the bass a featured instrument on many tracks. He grooves a lot, and it’s really something worth paying attention to.
The band seems to keep up a reputation of wearing different assortments of hats when playing live. Across the Internet community, they’ve been known for their interactive live shows even taking requests for which song to play next by how loud the crowd is.
If you aren’t going out to the show, at least give these two albums a listen on grooveshark.com or Youtube. If you are planning to attend, though, be prepared for a great night of quality music from the talented indie-rock band Dr. Dog from Pennsylvania.
“We don’t have that much of a music scene or much of an indie following [in Fayetteville],” Moore said. “For me it’s cool, I can relate to Dr. Dog. They’re real people making real music, and we don’t get enough of that around here.”